We now offer Persian Dance instruction by Shahrzad Khorsandi through our online classes. Instruction in this exquisite dance format is rare, and we thrilled to present Shahrzad’s work and training. Drawing upon her formal dance training and her intrinsic knowledge of Persian aesthetics, Shahrzad is among the first Persian dance practitioners to create a formalized dance vocabulary and structure for Persian dance, helping to archive an art form that has been outlawed in Iran for the past three decades. This dance style is a fluid yet rhythmic dance form, which emphasizes the use of hands and wrists. The movement and positioning of the body reflect the rich and refined aesthetics of Persia.

This first six class series, Persian Dance with Shahrzad 01, is an introduction to Classical Persian Dance with elements from contemporary Persian ballet. Each class offers a different movement combination with a distinct dynamic quality. The series is designed to help the dancer taste and explore the range of Persian dance. The series is available in six week increments. Learn more about the series here. (Soon, we will be offering Persian Dance with Shahrzad 02, which will focus on Fundamental Techniques.)

Shahrzad Khorsandi is the Artistic and Executive Director of Shahrzad Dance Company. Born and raised in Iran, Shahrzad has been involved with Persian dance since childhood. She studied Dance and Performance Art at the California Institute of the Arts, and she holds a BA in Dance, as well as an MA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University. Her dance training includes Modern, Jazz, Ballet, West African, Afro- Haitian, Flamenco, and Persian. Shahrzad is a wonderful instructor, and we encourage you to visit her informative website.

The video clip below features Shahrzad in performance titled “Ghalibaf” (rug weaver): a woman weaves a rug, as she has every day or her life since childhood. The geometric shapes and patterns of the rug, along with the repetitive motion of the weaving, lead her into a trance; and she begins to dance with those shapes and patterns to her inner music. Music: Habil Aliyev.